#4C18 Update - SJAC Work Kicks into High Gear

The work toward 4C18 in Kansas City is continuing to move forward with the good work by Jane Greer and her local arrangements committee, and Duku and the SJAC. As usual, I'll offer some updates on each of the ten priorities that the SJAC is working on with me. And a special thanks to Jesse Moore, who is my transparency officer on the SJAC. She collects much of the information I share each week. Her careful work is helping them and me stay organized and know what is being done. Thanks, Jesse.
  1. Collaboration with local activists (Ersula Ore, Victor Del Hierro, Romeo Garcia, David Green). Both the work group and I have reached out to Dr. Williams at the local chapter of the NAACP, Jason Hale at Community Engagement and Education at the Center for American Indian Community Health, and Gillian Helm at Literacy KC. The work group contacted ACLU MO, Kansas Human Rights Commission (turns out they are not a good fit with us), and Employee Rights Law Firm. I am also trying to get a hold of the major of KC, Sly James, to participate in some way (see priority #8 below). 
  2. Technology and Access (F2F and OL) (Stephanie Kerschbaum, Aja Y. Martinez, Bump Halbritter, Casie Moreland, Zan Goncalves). No new updates on this work group yet. 
  3. Safety and Security (Al Harahap). Al has begun work on this work group's charge, and has asked for help. We are looking to see if anyone might volunteer -- you may contact Al directly. I've also asked Jane Greer to help find anyone who might help from the local arrangements committee. Meanwhile, Al has created a "Buddy System" for volunteers to be available as travel buddies, perhaps also ready to be deployed to the airport in case travelers need them there. A schedule of times will likely correspond with the conference schedule. Al requested a table or booth in our Expo area, so that Cs members can expect a table or booth centrally located there during the convention. Expect to get more info on this work group's actions, as they will be surveying members on their potential usage of the buddy system. I've also asked that the work group consider ways during the convention to help keep our members safe and secure (although CCCC cannot assure safety at local sites, especially away from the convention site). One idea Al is working on is a brainstorming workshop, and an online "training workshop" for the buddy system volunteers, as well as a more general preconvention workshop for volunteers to the buddy system. I'm not sure about this option, but it's not off the table. This group is also contacting work group #1 on potential local groups that could conduct workshops in this area and work group #9 for shared scheduling/space/time. Finally, we are working on ways to let the local police or other authorities know about these activities and what our concerns are for our members. My hope is that involving the local authorities in matters of making our convention safer might help them be aware of us and our concerns.
  4. Donation to Local Movements (Casie Moreland). Casie is working with work group #1 to coordinate with the group in contacting local organizations in KC. Once Casie knows where funds should go, she will develop ways to generate funds for these organizations. She will have a table in the Expo area at the convention dedicated to collecting donations for these organizations and also to contact publishers in advance to ask for donations. Casie welcomes suggestions or questions from members. I think, she'll also need volunteers to run the table. So please contact her directly to volunteer or offer ideas
  5. Letter Writing Campaign (Holly Hassel). No updates here. 
  6. Work with Local Committee and Activists on Press Release and Press Coverage (Jessie Moore) Jesse, Jane, and I will work on the press releases that will come much closer to the convention date. Likely we'll have one at about a month out, then one the week before. Any ideas about this priority can be sent to me directly
  7. Preconvention Statement on Actions, Activities (Michael Pemberton and Romeo Garcia).  This work group is working with me to put together this statement that will likely go into the program and convention app, as well as the 4C18 convention's hospitality site, which is still under some construction. This priority is combined with priority #10. Some of this group's work must wait for other groups to complete their work. 
  8. All-Convention Activity (Holly Hassel, Jessie Moore, David Green). This group is still working on all the options but making some headway. There is some talk of a speaker and rally that we might all participate in. I'm also thinking that this would be a good event to have the major of KC join us. More updates in the near future. 
  9. Program Statement and Cover Art (Al Harahap, Michael Pemberton). The group and I have been discussing options (see priority #7 above). I'm committed to have local student art used in cover, and have reached out to a local group that likely can offer us something. Jane Greer has helped me find and work with this group. I'm still waiting on a response from them. 
  10. Pre- and Post-Workshops Dedicated to Activism and Organizing (Michael Pemberton, Romeo Garcia). This group is brainstorming and sharing ideas with me, and once workshop plans are confirmed and approved, we will move to organize. I've suggested that we be mindful of having too many pre- and post-workshop options since that will spread the attendance very thin. Additionally, we have limited space and workshops proposed by members have already been assigned places. 
Finally, I want to say that the KC Cultural event is firming up nicely. It will be an evening event that includes a catered dinner with wine served as part of the meal. Additionally, I'm working on having local breweries to come and be available at a cash bar. The event currently will have a local expert, Chuck Haddix, offer us a lecture on local jazz and (hopefully) its connections to social justice issues and history in the KC area. The Vine Street Rumble Jazz Orchestra will accompany the lecture and offer some musical entertainment as well. This will be an event that members must register for and will cost about $42 for early registration. The event will be at the beautiful and historic Union Station.